NBA regular season

LeBron James, Russell Westbrook carry Lakers to rout of Blazers

LeBron James, Russell Westbrook carry Lakers to rout of Blazers

SCORING OUTBURST. Lakers star LeBron James drives to the basket against Blazers guard Dennis Smith Jr.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Lakers wrap up the year with a wire-to-wire win over the Blazers as LeBron James erupts for 43 and Russell Westbrook drops a triple-double

LeBron James pumped in 43 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, Russell Westbrook posted a triple-double, and the Los Angeles Lakers closed 2021 with a 139-106 rout of the visiting Portland Trail Blazers on Friday, December 31 (Saturday, January 1, Manila time).

James reached a double-double in the first half, posting 27 points and 10 rebounds by intermission. He reached double figures in points less than six minutes into the game as the Lakers raced to a 25-10 start.

It was all Los Angeles from there in a wire-to-wire win.

Westbrook finished with 15 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists.

Portland cut the deficit to 12 points to open the third quarter when Tony Snell connected on a three-pointer off one of Damian Lillard’s 7 assists, but Los Angeles responded with a quick 10-2 run that effectively ended any hope of a rally.

The Trail Blazers struggled to find a shooting rhythm throughout the night. They hit just 36-of-102 (35.3%) from the floor and 12-of-42 (28.6%) from three-point range. Lillard went 1-of-8 from long distance while Norman Powell was 0-of-5 from deep.

Ben McLemore led Portland with 28 points off the bench, hitting 6-of-14 from three-point range. Lillard finished with 18 points, Larry Nance Jr. had 13 points and 9 boards, and Powell scored 12.

Los Angeles sank 55.3% of its field-goal attempts (47-of-85) and 46.3% (19-of-41) from beyond the arc.

James shot 16-of-26 from the floor and 5-of-10 from outside. Westbrook went 5-of-10 overall, and Malik Monk hit 6-of-11 shots en route to 18 points.

Stanley Johnson played his best game since being added to the Lakers’ roster on a 10-day contract via the hardship exception. He shot 3-of-4 from the field, including 2-of-3 from outside, and finished with 10 points.

Carmelo Anthony (16 points), Austin Reaves (10), and Talen Horton-Tucker (10) all scored in double figures off the bench for Los Angeles, which won for just the second time in eight games.

Portland took its fourth straight loss and fell for the 11th time in the past 13 games. –